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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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I hate state testing
Old 04-05-2022, 02:36 PM
 
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It's day 1 and I've been in a bad mood all day. First of all, I couldn't have my morning coffee, because I was afraid I'd have to pee during the testing, so it didn't start off well!

I have to take a group of students who have extended time accommodations. This drives me INSANE. NOBODY USES IT. It's such a waste of time. I've been teaching 12 years, and not once have I seen a child use or even come within an hour of using extended time. They already give 90 minutes to answer like 10 questions. Always, always, always, the "extended time" kids are the first ones done by eons of time.

There are tech issues. One after the other. Took 45 minutes to log in and get started. I make multiple speeches about how they need to take their time. Make multiple suggestions on how to spend more time (use the scratch paper, reread the passages, etc.) Explain that I will not be giving any PBIS tickets unless they use one hour or more. One kid made it just past the hour mark. Several had submitted their test within 15 minutes.

Then we sit and wait for the classrooms to be done. They take longer to get started (even though I stall for as long as I can), so I am sitting there for over an hour with a room full of kids who have all turned in their tests. We were in a conference room where they are all sitting around a giant table in a circle (my room is too small). That didn't go well for over an hour of sitting and doing nothing. Starting tomorrow I will need to rearrange the room so that they can't see each other as much as possible.

While all this great fun is happening, I missed four instructional groups. K-2 kids who aren't taking this test themselves, and are missing services for 2 weeks so I can spend hours staring at kids who finish their test in 15 minutes.

Two more weeks of this nonsense. Then next year, when we get the scores back, I'll get to hear great lamenting about how students with disabilities score lower than students without disabilities. DUH! That's the literal definition of having a disability. No educational impact= no disability in the school system.

Hate, hate, hate this time of year. I really hoped somehow the powers that be would see the light when we didn't do testing during covid, and things would change. Nope.


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Old 04-05-2022, 02:45 PM
 
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You are not alone! I think many of us feel your pain.

We id get our amount of testing cut back significantly. I think our kids now spend the equivalent of about 2 days testing. I am not involved this year at all, so I haven't thought too much about it. They may be taking 4 tests on 4 different days or doing 2 days with a test in the morning and one in the afternoon.

One year I did have a student who took FOREVER to test. She was in Special ed, but did not have extended time. What? If you can imagine my entire class waiting while this student was sitting doing nothing. I did manage to get them to take her in a small group after that, but... What a nightmare.

Our small groups get to go to recess early and then do some activities in a classroom while everyone else finishes. Sometimes they just sit and "read" books while they wait.
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Old 04-05-2022, 04:30 PM
 
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i give my students a packet of "goodies" to keep for the 3 weeks of testing. it has hidden pictures, mandalas to color, mazes...keeps the kids busy while we wait for those LONNNNNNG testers.

i kind of like testing time. i don't have to plan for half the day....it's QUIET....i usually get a bit of organizing/planning/grading done...
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State testing
Old 04-05-2022, 06:21 PM
 
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I feel your pain.

Can you put something together for them to do when done? Seems the most likely solution. I used to give them a tiny can play dough, access to books, coloring pages, puzzles, games, etc.

When you’re done, you can entertain yourself silently at your seat. Once everyone is done, I didn’t care if they talked. Testing for spec Ed is ridiculous most of the time.
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Old 04-05-2022, 07:13 PM
 
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So, the state rules don't allow them to have anything to do during the test session (if they finish early) except a book. They leave the choice of allowing books up to districts. Mine doesn't allow it because they are trying to force the kids to work on the test for as long as possible/don't want to have any possible motivation to end early. That wouldn't really help me anyway as these kids aren't going to sit and be engaged in reading a book either.

Back when I was in school, it was a total free for all with tons of "entertainment" given to us after state tests- drawing/coloring, books, activity packets, other art supplies, candy, etc. I was totally the kid who rushed through testing to get to my pile of "fun stuff." So shocked this is still happening in other places! We haven't allowed anything like that for at least 10 years.

I checked with our AP and he said that if the full 90 minute test session is done, and we're just waiting on classrooms, I could have the kids do something else "if they worked hard." I brought in a bin of bingo games, but after finishing the test in 15 minutes, not even answering all of the questions, trying to goof off afterwards, etc. I certainly did not want to give them a "reward."

The really ridiculous thing is that the "extended time" accommodation keeps getting added to IEPs when we KNOW kids don't need it and don't use it. People just put it on there because it makes them feel like they're doing something. I made sure none of my 3rd grade IEPs had it, then got stuck doing 4th grade testing (IEPs written by another teacher). Meanwhile my other kids are missing two weeks of services that they DO desperately need, all for this facade of "providing accommodations" so we can feel better about IEPs actually doing something.


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I feel your pain!
Old 04-05-2022, 08:10 PM
 
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In the old days, I was an advocate for standardized testing. I lived through working with those who did their own things, and there was no predictability as to which children had learned what in the precious grade.

There is some need for it, but the incredible amount of time it takes these days is ridiculous. Why can't we just test for the last couple of weeks, and then let it go?
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Old 04-06-2022, 03:34 AM
 
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Three weeks of testing? Wow. My district is only doing 4 days for less than two hours each day. Last year we tested for only two days, two hours each day. THsi also is a somewhat affluent public school district.

The Catholic schools I used to teach at were about the same.

We have run into the same issue with kids finishing in 15-20 minutes though. They are allowed to read, draw, write when they are finished. These are middle school kids so it is a little bit easier to get them to find something quiet to do. I think they are even allowed to do something on their chrome books which means they can play games, etc too.
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Testing woes
Old 04-06-2022, 06:04 AM
 
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We only use three days. Two tests a day. I'm sitting here right now and every student is done already with a Math test that was allowed 60 minutes. The ELA test yesterday was even worse. I had a student finish a 90 minute test in 15 minutes. So frustrating!
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Old 04-06-2022, 11:15 AM
 
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We also can’t allow our students to do anything when they complete state testing, they just have to sit quietly. There is an option to allow them to read a book when they’re done but my school (I think district-wide) doesn’t use that option.

Teachers also must be actively monitoring the entire time, no computer work. We have to be walking/pacing the room the entire test session.

We get 80 minutes to test each day (2 for reading and 2 for math. Fourth and fifth grade have more to high with writing, science, and end of course exams prior to middle school).

I’m surprised at the length of your test…. Our state reading test has at least 60 questions each day (divided in half over two days) and with part A/part B question types it’s probably more like 75. They have at least 6-8 reading passages each day.

(I teach third but it’s the same for all grade levels)

Our ESOL students get all day to test and ESE students generally get time and a half or double time. The majority of our kids use their time and they also have accommodations to have questions and answer choice read to them (not the passages) which they all utilize.


We have had extended time removed from kids IEPs/504 plans before if we’ve documented that they don’t use/need the time.

We get scores back before the school year is over for reading for third grade (only scores we get back early)… only because it is a mandatory retention grade. If they don’t receive a certain level on the reading they are required to attend summer school and if they don’t pass summer school they repeat third grade.

ETA: I hate the pressure we put on young kids here and the way one test impacts instruction all year. School funding is tied to test scores here as is teacher pay which makes teaching in a Title I school even harder than it already is.

Last edited by Lilbitkm; 04-06-2022 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 04-06-2022, 03:55 PM
 
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We have to do the "active proctoring" the whole time too. Just walk in circles around the room. No getting work done and no electronics allowed. In the good old days like my 1st-2nd year of teaching, you could have your computer out and be doing work the whole time. I didn't mind it so much then. Gone are those days!

Today I rearranged the room I was in so that none of the kids could see each other after they were finished. That made it better than yesterday. Told them they could only get the "special tickets" (they printed special PBIS ones for testing) if they took an hour or more. Half of them did today. One of them, bless his heart, was clearly just wasting time to take up an hour. He'd go to a question, sit for like 10 minutes, answer it, go on to the next one, sit for 10 minutes, etc. He has a low IQ and likely can't even really read the passages at all. Can I blame him?

Kid who was absent yesterday due to "cough and congestion" coughed throughout the ENTIRE test. Nothing I could do about it, because they're not allowed to stop testing unless they throw up. Of course he wasn't doing it while we were setting up, so I didn't know to try to send him out before we started. We probably all have covid now...


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Old 04-11-2022, 07:32 PM
 
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My kid will most likely need the “extended time”…whenever she takes the NWEA she’s the last one to finish and when the whole class takes half an hour it takes her more like 2.5 hours…. It was recently discovered she has a really slow rate of reading, enough to have resource, although her accuracy is good. She also reads all the choices… she finished the last nwea test in the resource room…. I’m tempted to waive her from the state testing this year tho
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